eastern six-lined racerunner

(Aspidoscelis sexlineata sexlineata)


This medium-sized lizard is not shiny and has a pointed nose. It grows to a maximum snout-vent length of 3 in. (75 mm) and a total length of 9.5 in. (241 mm). The back has six narrow, white to yellow, stripes on a dark brown background, and a tan stripe from head to the base of the tail. The tail is long and slim, bluish in the young but brownish to gray in adults. Hatching is from late June to September. The older females lay two clutches per season. Racerunners can run very fast, and will do so to escape predators. They do not drop their tails like skinks and glass lizards do, but rather, use their tales to help balance themselves when running.


This species occurs throughout the coastal plain and piedmon. Individual populations also occur in the along the James River drainage in the ridge and valley region and in the Shenandoah Valley. This species is associated with hot, dry, open areas in fields, woods, and coastal dunes, as well as in farmland and urban areas.


This lizard eats many different invertebrate prey. The racerunner forages under vegetation for termites and other invertebrates.